After the EDL rally and UAF counter-protest, during which riot police relentlessly attacked non-violent antifascists, while allowing EDL activists considerable space to roam through the streets and in and out of pubs, it emerges that EDL supporters attacked and stabbed
a man. The EDL had been aggressively harrassing pub goers, and jumped on a man who asked them to leave. His friend intervened, and he was beaten up and stabbed. The police are quoted as saying: "We need to identify these men and lock them up so they cannot hurt anyone else." But it was the police who gave them the opportunity to go out looking for violence, knowing exactly what kind of people they were defending. It was the police who beat and set dogs on antifascists to ensure that the EDL could have this outing. It was the police who struck
an 89 year old antifascist and veteran of WWII. And it was the police who fed smears
to the media to justify this conduct. They behaved this way despite the overwhelming opposition of the local community, the council, local businesses, even the bloody cabbies who were leafletting against the EDL. They did this despite the fact that the EDL have a known propensity for attacking innocent people when they are given the chance to, and despite the fact that the antifascists were engaged in a legal, non-violent protest. Lesson one for anti-fascists, then: don't depend on the police to contain the racists and fascists.
Labels: antifascism, edl, english defence league, fascism, islamophobia, racism, uaf